Climate 411

Pass Build Back Better to keep our commitment to environmental justice

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Build Back Better Act is a long-overdue step to address environmental injustice throughout the United States. It will reduce the pollution that causes climate change and impacts public health, create high-quality jobs, and make long overdue investments in communities overburdened by pollution. Build Back Better will be the most significant environmental justice investment ever passed by Congress.

More clean trucks and buses: Because of their proximity to trucking routes and ports, low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately exposed to dangerous smog- and soot-forming pollutants – causing a slew of health problems, including heart and lung disease. Build Back Better invests billions to reduce this harmful pollution and support workforce development in the hardest hit areas.

Replace toxic lead pipes: More than nine million homes in 11,000 communities across the U.S. still get their water through a lead pipe, posing serious health risks. Investments from Build Back Better complement those from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by giving EPA the resources it needs to create jobs and prioritize lead pipe replacement to protect children in low-wealth families and communities of color. 

Jobs protecting Americans from climate change: The Civilian Climate Corps would train a new, diverse workforce of 300,000 dedicated to combating the climate crisis and create a pathway to good-paying jobs. This investment is especially important for young people, people of color, and those with a high school diploma or less, who face barriers to accessing high-quality jobs.

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What We’re Watching in Reconciliation: Regular Updates from EDF

Photo Credit: John Williams

Through the process known as budget reconciliation, Congress is now crafting a bill that could include significant investments in climate action that will drive economic and job growth. There are going to be a lot of moving parts over the next few weeks, which is why EDF will be weighing in regularly in this space to help break down what’s happening, and why it matters.

Want a primer on the key issues EDF will be watching? Read all about them here.

Dec. 13: Build Back Better Act moves through the Senate; White House releases new Executive Order building on climate investments

The Build Back Better Act continued its march through the Senate last week, with several key sections of the legislation going through the process of being vetted for final passage. We’re hearing a final vote may be scheduled as soon as December 20. 

But even as we wait for the Build Back Better Act to move through the Senate, the White House is not hesitating to act on the climate crisis. Last Wednesday, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability and released a Federal Sustainability Plan detailing the government’s plan to “walk the talk” on clean energy.  Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Economics, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Health, News, Policy / Read 1 Response

New EDF Research Shows More than 330,000 Workers Already Make Electric Trucks and Buses Throughout the United States, Potential for Tremendous Future Growth

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Build Back Better Act later this month, a bill with an unprecedented $555 billion in climate and clean air investments that will drive the creation of clean energy and manufacturing jobs. And the economic potential of manufacturing trucks and buses is underscored by two recent EDF reports – one examining the current landscape, and another offering a glimpse of what’s possible in the future.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans already make electric trucks and buses… Read More »

Also posted in Cars and Pollution, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, News / Comments are closed

Congress: It’s Time for Ambitious Action on Climate Change

Photo Credit: BeyondDC

Congress is building momentum toward bold clean energy policies that will create millions of jobs, accelerate clean energy and fight climate change. The bipartisan infrastructure deal the Senate passed in August was a positive and necessary first step. And now, we are looking forward to ambitious action that will help tackle the broad scope of the climate change crisis we all face.

We are focused on ensuring Congress does not miss this historic opportunity to drive down emissions in the power and transportation sectors, particularly in ways that advance environmental justice. Read More »

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A bold new commitment to the Paris Agreement is achievable – and essential for U.S. leadership

This blog post was co-authored with Nat Keohane, Senior Vice President for Climate at EDF.
The White House

Now that the United States is officially back in the Paris Agreement, after four years of climate inaction and denial, all eyes are on the Biden administration to see whether it will meet the moment by putting forward a new emissions reduction commitment that is both ambitious and credible. In order to hit both marks, the administration should commit to cut total net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 – a target that is consistent with the science and President Biden’s goal of a net-zero economy by 2050, commensurate with commitments of other advanced economies, and one that many state leaders, businesses, advocates and others are already calling for.

This year’s UN climate talks, known as COP26 and set to take place in November, will be a proving ground for the Paris Agreement framework. Countries must come to the table with more ambitious climate targets known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs. Collectively, these NDCs must put the world on a path consistent with the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

The United States has the chance to regain a position as a global leader on climate – and to galvanize climate action around the world – by setting an ambitious target that meets the scale of the climate crisis. The new U.S. NDC must also be credible – meaning that one or more technically and economically viable policy pathways can be identified to achieve it. Using a range of analyses, a new EDF report demonstrates how a bold new commitment of reducing total net GHG emissions at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 is achievable through multiple policy pathways – and that charting an ambitious path on climate is essential for growing a stronger and more equitable, clean U.S. economy.

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Also posted in Greenhouse Gas Emissions, International, Jobs, Paris Agreement, Policy, United Nations / Comments are closed

Farmers and environmentalists team up to push Congress to act on climate

By Callie Eideberg

This blog was originally posted on EDF’s Growing Returns.

America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are on the frontlines of the climate change. Planting windows and growing seasons are shifting, and droughts and floods are more likely to occur. At the same time, these working lands hold enormous potential to help slow climate change and increase resilience to its effects. Photo credit: Iowa NRCS.

Agricultural and environmental advocates have joined forces to push Congress to act on climate change. The new Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance developed more than 40 joint policy recommendations for making farms, ranches and forests more climate resilient, harnessing the power of natural climate solutions.

Environmental Defense Fund, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and National Farmers Union co-chair the alliance, and membership has expanded to include FMI-The Food Industry Association, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and The Nature Conservancy. Read More »

Also posted in Agriculture, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Policy / Comments are closed